When a couple divorces or separates, one of the most important decisions they will need to make (either alone or with the help of the court) is the child’s living arrangements going forward. The second most important decision they will need to make is how the child’s living expenses will be taken care of. And this is where child support comes in.
However, child support can be a source of conflict, especially if parents cannot agree on what the payments will (and will not cover.) This is why it is important to understand what Michigan laws say about child support payments, what it is meant for and how it is determined.
The basics of child support
At its very basic, child support payments are paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to take care of the normal expenses that come with raising a child. These expenses include food, accommodation, transportation, health care, child care as well as extra-curricular activities.
It is not uncommon for the paying parent to claim that the custodial parent is misusing child support funds. For instance, they may claim that their ex is using child support funds for personal care, vacations and other personal expenses. Or, they may feel they are paying too much yet not everything is going toward the child.
The family court will seldom get into the nitty-gritty of how the child support funds are spent. Also, the receiving party is under no obligation to give an account to the paying parent on how they spent the money.
Child support can be a contentious issue during and after the divorce. Find out how you can safeguard your child’s best interests while addressing the matter of child support.